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Lib Dems become most popular party closely followed by Brexit Party, YouGov poll suggests

Conservatives and Labour slip to joint third place

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 30 May 2019 22:24 BST
Sir Vince Cable says the Liberal Democrats 'are the big success story of the night'

The Liberal Democrats have become the most popular party in the country, a poll suggests.

The pro-Remain party has seen its support surge to 24 per cent, closely followed by Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party at 22 per cent.

A YouGov poll for The Times found the Conservatives and Labour had slipped to joint third place, both with 19 per cent.

The Lib Dems came second in the European parliament elections last week, claiming 20 per cent of the vote and winning 16 MEPs.

However, the Brexit Party claimed first place in the elections with 31.6 per cent, giving it 29 seats.

“This is definitive proof that Lib Dems are back in the game,” said Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey.

“Our campaign to stop Brexit and fix Britain is resonating with millions of voters who have been let down by the two main parties.

“As Lib Dem leader I would capitalise on this success and build a strong liberal movement for the future, focused on tackling climate change and rebuilding our our public services.”

Sir Vince Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, announced his decision to stand down earlier this year.

Mr Davey will face competition from Jo Swinson, the party’s deputy leader, who confirmed on Thursday that she also would stand for the leadership.

Vince Cable says he 'welcomes people with dark faces' during televised debate with Nigel Farage

Meanwhile, the Tories have seen a sharp fall in donations, as payments to the UK’s major political parties declined at the start of the year.

Parties reported accepting a total of £6,835,235 in donations in the first quarter (1 January to 31 March) of 2019, according to new figures from the Electoral Commission.

This is more than £3.7m less than the amount accepted in the previous quarter, between 1 October and 31 December 2018, it said.

A large proportion of the drop came from the Conservatives, who have seen lower donations to the party compared to the last few months of 2018.

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The party’s own chairman and treasurer, Sir Michael Davis, has become the party’s largest donor, giving £316,000 in the first quarter of the year.

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